Skip to main content

Rolling art

Wooden-frame bicycles are challenging to make and provide a softer ride.

Wooden-frame bicycles are challenging to make and provide a softer ride.


Avid woodworker and cycling enthusiast Chris Connor fused both of his interests when he opened Connor Wood Bicycles of Denver in 2012. His company offers handcrafted hardwood-framed bicycles which give the end-user a most unique riding experience.

“Wood has a wonderful ability to soften the ride a little bit. It takes the edge out of things which is why a lot of carpenters prefer a wood handle hammer to one that’s made of steel or fiberglass,” says Connor. 

“You’re also on something totally unique that tends to wow and inspire you and others around you. Part of the fun of the wood bikes is that people don’t believe you can actually ride a wooden bicycle. It defies logic, but when done right it really works.”

Learning the proper woodworking techniques didn’t happen overnight. Connor started as a hobbyist furniture maker in Colorado, then joined his brother’s guitar-building shop in Cape Cod (Mass.) and built wooden boats on nights and weekends.

Now, his custom bicycles are bought and used for everything from leisure rides to endurance races in Colorado and around the world. They are typically made with American white ash or black walnut. Some parts get sliced, steam bent and reassembled with aircraft grade epoxy and Kevlar strips for strength.

“Wood bicycles in 2012 were a novel concept. Nobody had really been using curved or bent or laminated wood in their designs. Knowing you need exceptional strength for a frame, I knew you would need to bend the wood instead of cutting curves across the material. I realized if I did some things with steam bending and composite lamination, that I could make the wood bicycles exceptionally stronger than anybody else who was doing it,” says Connor.

Connor’s frames weigh about five pounds, nearly that of a steel frame and are built to order. He makes cruising, mountain, touring and other types of bikes that sell for $4,000 to $10,000.

For more, visit

This article originally appeared in the January 2019 issue.

Related Articles


On a roll, straight and true

David Musty of Signal Hill, Calif., found his woodworking niche 20 years ago when he started David Musty Putters in 1997.

Selling cellars

Thanks to his customers’ appreciation for fine wine, Darryl Hogeback of Denver is thriving with his custom wine cellar business, Savanté Wine Cellars.


Grow it yourself

In the wake of problems affecting availability of Honduras rosewood, including depleted supply and complicated government regulations, one instrument maker has found a solution that ensures his company an ongoing availability of the endangered hardwood.


And the beat goes on

Though he claims to not have a musical bone in his body, Michael Thiele has been making and selling wooden art drums and other percussion pieces for 43 years.

John Staack (right) and Jim Moore, owners of Staack Moore Woodworking.

High art for expensive tastes

Business partners John Staack and Jim Moore proudly build projects for their high-end client base, consisting almost entirely of multimillion-dollar homes